To sum it up in one sentence – Battlefield meets Assassin’s Creed. Homefront took on a very challenging and daunting task. Develop an open world, free roaming, first-person shooter game. As an avid Assassin’s Creed fan, I had high hopes for this game. I was ready to be a revolutionary. I was ready to take back America. I was ready to make America great again. Let’s see if my mission was a success or a lost cause.
Blue Ball Score: 12 out of 25 balls
First order of business here is the gameplay. I will lead off this inning talking about the mechanics and overall “feel” of the game. The standard controls were pretty typical of any shooter game. If you have played Call of Duty, Halo, or Battlefield then you will be able to grasp the basic controls rather easily. One aspect I want to specifically mention is the art of shooting. Shooting in this game was rather difficult. The excessive amount of muzzle flash made it extremely difficult to be accurate while engaging the enemy. One may argue that the shooting aspect was too realistic in this sense. Perhaps the M4 really shoots that way. I have never shot an M4 so I wouldn’t know (if you know anyone with an M4 that I can shoot, let me know). Besides that, the controls were fairly standard.
What about the feel of the game? It is a very unique experience to say the least. After the first (and very long) cut scene, I was ready to take back America. I was strapping on my Turtle Beaches expecting a guns blazing all-out war, but boy was I wrong. Homefront is quite the opposite. Sure, you can come out guns blazing on your missions, but prepare to be slaughtered. So, majority of the time, I found myself taking the more silent approach. The only problem was that the stealth mode was extremely disappointing. It seemed like the stealth mode was more of a thought that didn’t get fully planned out. Unfortunately, this turned out to be a critical mistake because stealth is such an important part of the game. In conclusion, being stealthy may seem awkward since it IS a FPS, but my love for Assassin’s Creed helped me adjust to this aspect rather quickly. To sum it up, in the ideal scenario, you want to move and kill as silently as possible and use brute force only when necessary.
Also, another special mention are the abundance of side missions and in-game “trinkets.” This was extremely similar to Assassin’s Creed. There were tons of little side missions that you could do and there were several in-game “trinkets.” Tasty Nades, what the hell do you mean by trinkets? In other words, there were tons of places and things to find and collect that were hidden throughout the city, such as: hideouts, caches, freeing civilians, and many more. There was always something new around the corner. A bit overwhelming at times, but the goal is to prevent boredom.
Customizations, customizations, customizations. You could definitely customize in this game. The first gun you get is a pistol, but the game also gives you a free customization kit that turns it into an SMG. When this happened, I was primed to blow if you know what I mean. As you did your missions, you could collect valuables which could be sold for money, supplies and tools to build your weapons, and as you took over parts of the city you earned a sort of “secondary currency.” All of these things helped you to upgrade and customize your current weapons, as well as purchase new weapons.
Alright, phew! Sorry for the ranting. There was much to talk about in this section. Due to the lack of a solid shooting module, this gets a 4/5 balls.
As mentioned above, there was so much to do in the campaign. The world that you could explore was massive. You could attempt to be a guns-blazing Rambo, or strike from the shadows. The decision was left up to you. If you didn’t want to walk from one end to the other, you could hop on a dirt bike and just speed across the city with no F’s given. BUT!!! There is always a but, right? At times, the main storyline was muddled and convoluted. It wasn’t really clear what the main objective was. It seemed like the side missions were also the main mission and, at times, the main mission would just disappear. I wasn’t very confident that what I was doing is what I am supposed to be doing.
Difficulty? I found this game to be overly hard. I played on the medium difficulty my first time around (who doesn’t) and there were points in the game where I got demolished. I was pinned down in a building with hordes of enemies around me. No hope. Now, I get why the developers of the game may have done this. You are a “civilian” revolutionary (maybe not 100% civilian, but you are not a Call of Duty marine) and you don’t quite have the experience yet. But, for Heaven’s sake, don’t frustrate me to the point where my blood is boiling – especially when the difficulty isn’t on “f#@k me silly.” Also, when you are doing side missions (such as freeing civilians, liberating sections of the city, etc.), there are times when the task at hand seems impossible. The whole section is surrounded by KPA so the silent approach won’t work and God knows the guns blazing approach is a death wish. Even using all the in-game tools (recruits, distractions, etc.), the task was overly hard and complicated. Finally, the enemies seemed superhuman at times. My bullets seemed like BB’s compared to their guns. It would take 3-4 shots to the head to kill them. I may be wrong, but if I am using an unsilenced pistol at point blank range then a shot (two at most) to the head should kill you.
So, although the premises of the game is clear and there are tons of things to do, the overly hard missions, muddled direction, seemingly loss of hope at times in the game, and super-powered enemies lead Homefront to receive a sad 3/5 balls.
The first thing I looked for is a connection. How does this tie into the campaign? It almost seemed like random missions to me. Perhaps it was because I didn’t play the campaign all the way through, but the co-op seemed like random missions. So, I was a bit confused in regards to this aspect.
Well, what about the missions themselves? Were they good? The missions weren’t bad, but I definitely expected more. Each mission did have an open world feel to it, but this seemed pointless to me. Why have an open world on co-op? Overall, the objectives of the missions were quite simple, but the enemies seemed to be superhuman at times. There were also an abundance of juggernauts. Enemies that wore armor and used an over-powered LMG. These guys were hard to kill, but that is the point of a juggernaut. My only complaint here is there were soooo many of them.
Was there anything good about the multiplayer? The only thing I enjoyed about the multiplayer was the character customization. You could customize just about anything from the weapons down to the boots you wear. And, some gear would actually give you bonuses. For example, a certain kind of boot may give you an agility or speed bonus. So, this addition was really cool.
Overall, the online experience was awful. With so many good FPS games out there, this isn’t worth the play. 1/5 balls.
Let’s be honest, the graphics were terrible. A game that was released in 2016 should have top notch graphics. With all the technology available, I expect the best. Unfortunately, this wasn’t the case. The rendering of the graphics was horrendous. The loading screens took a long time to get you in the game so my thought was that they are loading the entire world. But, this wasn’t the case. There were times where you could watch the map and enemies render before you. This added unnecessary frustration.
Also, when the graphics did load they weren’t impressive. For a 2016 game, they were average. There wasn’t anything that really caught my eye and the attention to detail was lacking.
Audio and sound wasn’t much better. The explosions were rather disappointing for me. To be specific, I was expecting louder explosions from the pipe bombs but it sounded like a firework in your backyard. The audio from the characters was rather disappointing as well. The character that you played as didn’t talk much at all. This lack of personal character audio lead made me feel like I couldn’t relate to the character. Ultimately, it was hard for me to get into the character as well as the game.
All of these leads to a disappointing 2/5 balls.
It depends on what you are looking for. If you are looking for a challenging game, with overly realistic gameplay, and a lot to do within the game, then Homefront is for you. But, if you are looking for a game that immerses you, challenges you, and allows you to grow, then Homefront isn’t for you. The lack of multiplayer (PvP) is enough to deter most gamers away, but for those that are OK with a co-op, the co-op is also bad.
So, this game appeals to a very narrow audience. For these reasons, it gets 2/5 balls.
Folks, there isn’t much else to say about this game. It is a nice “I am bored with no other games to play” type of game, but nothing that could keep me playing every day. The overpowered enemies, lack of personal connection to the game, missing player-vs-player multiplayer, disappointing graphics and audio, and narrow audience appeal have really destroyed this game. The only thing saving it is a decent campaign full of things to do and the ability to customize/upgrade your character and gun. In conclusion, Homefront: The Revolution gets a grand total of 12 / 25 balls.